Musings on Spiritual Matters

by Matthew Morine

How To Provide Feedback

Our churches are becoming afraid to provide feedback to members.  Leaders are timid in even discussing a topic with a member.  In a culture of high sensitiveness, and a church world in which people only expect to be praised, the art of feedback is disappearing.  A person who is burned out in ministry is not emotionally able to handle feedback. The mind says, “I am doing so much, giving so much, and you are not happy with this.”  In this culture, we are not helping people grow in the Lord.  So what to do.  We must learn how to provide feedback in a positive and loving matter.

1. Never attribute the problem to internal issues.  Never say, you are just foolish, or give the feedback to some inherent make up of the individual.

2. Sandwich the feedback in praise.  Start with praise, move to feedback, end with praise.

3. Always end with “next time.”  You are not pulling the plug on them, but coaching them in the process.  Always provide hope for the next round.  There is always a chance to improve.

4. Establish the relationship first.  Just finding a problem does not give you the authority to give negative feedback to someone.  You care for them, this is why this is happening.

5. Ask for feedback from them.  They will have some thoughts as well.  What could you have done in this situation to make it better?  If you are open to feedback, they will be more open as well.

6. Establish the goal in feedback.  You are looking to help people grow and develop.  The glory of the church is the most important area here, this is why we are doing this.

These are just some suggestions on the process of providing feedback to someone.  Often feedback is not received or poorly taken because of how it is delivered.  There is a great book that all leaders in the church should read.  It is called “Crucial Conversations.”   One of the best.

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Related posts:

  1. The Feedback Loop
  2. Ego and Reality
  3. Level of Dissatisfaction

About The Author

Matthew is originally from Nova Scotia, Canada. He has a beautiful wife named Charity and a precious baby named Gabrielle. He has graduated from the Brown Trail School of Preaching, Heritage Christian University with his Bachelors of Arts in Biblical Studies, Lipscomb University with his Master’s of Arts in Biblical Studies and his Master’s of Divinity at Freed-Hardeman University. He is presently working towards his Doctorate of Ministry at Harding Graduate School of Religion. His articles have appeared in the World Evangelist, the Highway to Holiness, The West Virginia Christian, The Christian Echo, The Firm Foundation, Church Growth, and the Gospel Advocate. He enjoys hockey, golf, boxing, and chess. In his spare time he enjoys reading numerous genres of books. Also, he is working on climbing all of the 14ers in Colorado. Matthew is the Pulpit Minister for the Castle Rock church of Christ.

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